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Been reading MB articles for about a year and recently added reading the forum and listening to the radio program in an effort to understand how to apply the principles, but in real time it is hard to see where things go wrong or what I should have done instead.

Scenario...arrival home from trip. Mutually agree I should supervise getting luggage unloaded and essentials put away with kids and he will take care of the essential farm chores. Kids and I do a little rally and decide we can race and get it done fast even though we are cold and tired. Prop the door open and begin. Get called to open the door twice for kids with full arms. On my own second load in I ask "who keeps shutting the door? We need it open" thinking one of the kids was shutting it out of habit. As I was running out the door again husband walking through to go out the back door says forcefully "Shut the door, it is cold outside." I hear him, come back, and say "I will make sure the door is shut just as soon as we get everything carried in, we are racing, it will be less than 5 minutes." He says, "I want the door shut." I say back "we need it open, our hands are full, somebody is going to fall or break something, we will just do it fast, or we can trade jobs and you can do the luggage and we will do the chores".
At that point he walked off with body language and forceful steps and said a horrible curse word that is rare and unacceptable even to him and may or may not have been overheard by the children. I think I am right in saying that is an unmistakable AO. In a few minutes I went to him and said that I had heard that, and wanted him to know it was not behavior I will be able to continue to live with. (we have a decade+ of me just being silent)
He said I meant for you to hear it.
I repeated my statement that I felt horrible and wronged and will not be able to continue living in and he started in on how it was disrespectful of me to ignore his request and tell him he could do it himself instead of me doing it differently. I told him I wasn't going to fight about it, but would think on it, and walked away.
Later I came back and told him maybe we should have stopped and POJAd a method of unloading luggage that worked for both of us, but that I think it qualified as a selfish demand, I don't think I am required under MB principles to just do it the way he said when it was not something I could be happy complying with. He replied that it was selfish of me to demand it be left open (not sure if what I did qualified as a demand?) at which point I mentioned that I did offer to trade jobs with him so it could be done the way he wanted. I then offered even more options we could have used and he was still angry and told me the one option that should have been used and was the only right way to have dealt with it. I again walked away.

A few minutes later I came back and asked him specifically if he thought it was ok to get angry and in particular if he was ok with our kids hearing such a curse. He said he shouldn't have said that word, but that I made him angry and he did have a right to be angry.


So there is more to the story, but I think that is enough to get answered the question I have.

Was that a selfish demand on his part (shut the door when he had nothing to do with what was going on and was not willing to contribute to the process) or was it independent behavior on my part to continue leaving it open after explaining what was going on?
If it was a selfish demand, what is the appropriate MB response?

I already know that the anger was not right and I am not responsible for that error on his part. At one point I would have felt I should not have made him angry, but I'm past that.I am not even sure what exactly made him angry in this scenario.

I want to know how I might have done this scenario differently on my part, or how it fits into MB method.


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Welcome to MB.

You're correct that you don't make him angry and he is in control of his anger. Are AOs something that happens?

Do the two of you POJA?

Have you read MelodyLane's story about her fight with her husband over lettuce and what Dr. Harley told her?


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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
Later I came back and told him maybe we should have stopped and POJAd a method of unloading luggage that worked for both of us, but that I think it qualified as a selfish demand, I don't think I am required under MB principles to just do it the way he said when it was not something I could be happy complying with. He replied that it was selfish of me to demand it be left open (not sure if what I did qualified as a demand?) at which point I mentioned that I did offer to trade jobs with him so it could be done the way he wanted. I then offered even more options we could have used and he was still angry and told me the one option that should have been used and was the only right way to have dealt with it. I again walked away.

Hi bhh, welcome to Marriage Builders. When your husband said he didn't want the door left open, that was the time to negotiate a solution that suited you both. You both became dueling dictators, which just escalated the conflict. To continue to do that when you knew he didn't like it was Independent behavior. His being disrespectful in his approach pretty much ensures he won't get what he wants.

HOWEVER, your husband has a serious anger problem that has to be addressed FIRST. Obviously, you can't negotiate with a hothead because his anger impairs his ability to negotiate and makes him an unsafe person.

Quote
A few minutes later I came back and asked him specifically if he thought it was ok to get angry and in particular if he was ok with our kids hearing such a curse. He said he shouldn't have said that word, but that I made him angry and he did have a right to be angry.

You don't have the power to make him angry and until he accepts that he is the only one that makes himself angry, he is not a safe person. I would have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for his anger and insist he get help for his anger. You are right to not put up with it.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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AOs have been a curse in our marriage from the beginning. I did not realize until recently how unacceptable and not normal they are. It may be he thinks there is nothing wrong with this level of anger as well and he has said he is ashamed he used to "blowup" as if it is a thing of the past. I thought we were ok because they were/are never physically expressed against a person, and even very little throwing of items or other tangibly destructive expressions....and no one yells. However,any level of anger is a huge lovebuster for me at this point. I don't know how to communicate to him that my lovebank is blown to bits each time without rehashing the latest incident.In fact just the thought of AO is enough to empty the bank at this point. :P I dread it. He does often seem to try to patch up with some deposits of some sort, and while I appreciate the effort I don't think he gets the credit he would otherwise get because it just never deposits.
Early in our marriage I did tell him that there were very few things I would leave him for, but physical violence was a hard line because there were signs of escalation and I had a newborn to think of. He backed off somewhat and took it out elsewhere. Lots of wood got split for a couple years. I thought at the time that was good. I was relieved and happy he took it out on something productive. I wish I had known more about anger management that works on eliminating the emotion then before we have all these years of habit to undo.

Sadly, when I began to try to voice myself in our marriage and negotiations were not going well over the last 18 months, I also had some AOs. It has been 6 months since the last one. I always felt horrible though it did get his attention and we got some communication out of it every time. It just felt so wrong to me, I hate being emotionally wound up, I'd rather withdraw. Although rare those incidents did give him a you-do-it-too counter point. I reply, "I'm sorry, that was wrong of me. I am not doing it anymore" and go back to what was happening right before that comment is made. I hope that is the right response, but unfortunately gives me less validity in a zero tolerance case.

We are trying to POJA, but not very successfully. We have negotiated a few mutual solutions over the last two months- one is completely satisfactory the others remain to be seen if they will last the trial period.

The rest of any attempted negotiations crash and burn. Just simple communication, what do you want or feel about this or that usually crashes and burns even without trying to pin down a mutual solution. He has always had a hard time with "compromise" and says if he gives up anything it's a loss and there is no way for negotiating to become a win-win. This is even when he is not angry.
The second and biggest lovebuster for me is disrespectful judgements. Negotiating ends up being a "why" session with constant criticisms of my viewpoint. It is hard to get him to brainstorm. If I try to stick with a simple no, that doesn't work for me instead of going into whys, and counter brainstorm ideas it usually just shuts down with no response at all or escalates into an AO as in the door scenario.


I think the next thing for me to recognize is independent behavior such as above. He expects that of me at this point it seems. I don't know how I am going to not do anything until joint agreement is reached with a busy household to manage, but I do want him to know I expect him to win in these scenarios too,even though I insist on not losing myself anymore.

How do you handle POJA when one spouse says they don't care about how or if something is done at all? I think I read something about this at one point, but now that I'm trying to implement I can't find it..... I am capable of making decisions, and it has been a matter of survival for us for me to decisions in managing the domestic responsibilities alone. However, this always seems to leave an open door for him to tell me I'm not doing it right, and then we are in the position of trying to negotiate while in active conflict and me lovebusted to boot.

Especially with small kids POJA negotiating process that is long and drawn out becomes a health and safety issue. Kids have to be fed and cared for in a timely manner. Tell me how to work this! For example he wanted to kids to help with the luggage although he did do their typical animal care chores for them. It was late and they were tired, cold, and grumpy. Do I independently choose to send them to bed and juggle that while I wait for negotiations on the door and luggage to happen? I can't imagine having them sit it out while we try to figure out what happens next. I was enthusiastic about his idea to have them help me when I saw a way to make it fast and fun and relatively painless.

I vaguely remember reading about a lettuce fight, but not clearly. Maybe I just read it mentioned on someone else's thread and not the whole story. Would it be here on the forum or in an article?


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I found the lettuce story. smile

Where can I find the IB test/scorecard?


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I really think the AOs must be eliminated.

Read this.
What to do with an Angry Husband


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Thank-you for the link. There is some stuff there that I think will be useful and is exactly on point.


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First, what does FILSIL mean? As in
Quote
Attempt to present him with a plan using FILSIL


Quote
2. Do not put up with his attempts to control
What does this mean? Could someone that has done MB for awhile take the time to give some examples or elaborate? I'll attempt to explain my confusion.

One of the ways I have contributed to the problems is a lack of honesty. Silence and sacrifice was part of the role I was taught was necessary to being a good wife. So a big pile of bad habit on both sides and unintentional dishonesty was a wrong on my side. A big wrong.


There is this little exchange that is common, that goes something like this when I try honesty...
"I don't like that."
"you should like that because..."
"I'm sorry, I still don't like it"
"I want you to like it. If you just decide to like it you will."
"I'm sorry I still don't like it, what about this other option"
"you just want me to do it your way"
"Ok, what way would make you happy?"
"reiterate first way"
"I don't like it, that's not an option.... give all the logic behind why the other suggestion works better, what suggestions do you have?"
"original method is THE option"
....here is where I would give in in the past if not before. So if I continue..."well, that seems like you are being controlling and we need to find a solution that suits both of us."
"no, YOU are trying to control ME. You just want to do it your way.We always do it your way."
Me, frustrated. "We hardly ever do anything I would like or choose if it were just me doing this."
"that is just your perception" (What can you say to that!)

So I have to walk away and try again later starting with a different angle than I-don't -like- your- option, or go with his option when the deadline to act comes, or ignore the just-your-perception comment and continue to suggest options until we say ok, that's what we do. Not much fun.

However, that seemed like a step up in the beginning from
I don't like that.
*crickets*
laugh


So the bottom line is nobody is happy. A few hrs/days after a discussed solution is implemented he ends up feeling like it was my way that was done and he lost. And while a logical choice that gets the business done works on one level for me,it is not like we are picking solutions that really work with the way I feel or would like things to go. I resent being saddled with the blame that if it wasn't his way it was my way.

I went back and reread the IB section of lovebusters again.

When I said this a few days ago
Quote
I think the next thing for me to recognize is independent behavior such as above. He expects that of me at this point it seems.
I was thinking of it in terms of what it looks like from his side. At this point he expects me to want something different than he wants, which means every point of contact starts in conflict mode. When I look at it from my side it looks less like Dr Harley's definition of Independent Behavior causing the conflict and more like my Taker saying it wants to be satisfied too.

So now I don't know how to go forward without reverting to my Giver doing all the (not) talking and deciding or conflicting. Been there, tried that for over a decade. That's what I need to change because this is going from default withdrawal while wanting to feel in love to real withdrawal that just doesn't care anymore. And I owe him; owe myself honesty. But obviously it is in the interest of ending conflict and finding real intimacy if I can learn to gather an enthusiastic agreement from him before action happens. He feels he is losing and I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't cause the only way I know for sure to get enthusiasm from him is to just go with his Taker's voice. Help!

I did tell him about MB radio and he listened to at least one hr that he came home and mentioned something about understanding POJA better and it is about both of us winning not just me being happy. And either we are in a state of intimacy enough to eliminate some of the AO and DJ or he is intentionally making progress. And just less conflict than what has become usual. Not sure how to interpret this because there have been cycles of improvement before that ended in an even bigger load of AOs and DJs than normal. He read at least some of Lovebusters months ago. He says he feels different than he ever has before. That has also happened before.


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FILSIL=Fall in love stay in love. It's one of Dr. Harley's books.


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I read this article- Control Dependency http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5055_qa.html as well as a few others that referenced the same book. Husband came by and I told him I wanted to order the book Fall In Love Stay In Love and he agreed. So it will be here in a couple weeks. Maybe that will help clarify HOW to do this.


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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
I read this article- Control Dependency http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5055_qa.html as well as a few others that referenced the same book. Husband came by and I told him I wanted to order the book Fall In Love Stay In Love and he agreed. So it will be here in a couple weeks. Maybe that will help clarify HOW to do this.
Love Busters is another fantastic Dr. Harley book. Independent behavior is a love busters and it helps explain how to stop love busters in the book Love Busters.

Have you read up on love busters?


FWW/BW (me)
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Yes, have the book Lovebusters. Reread the chapter on IB earlier today and it doesn't fit my behavior after all. I was hoping for some action I could take that would magically put us in a better spot for negotiating.
So the book says the way out of IB as well as the way into interdependence is honesty and POJA.




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Unintentional dishonesty is where I went wrong. Not schedules, and money like the examples in the articles and book, but feelings and thoughts and opinions. Can,t undo our starting point or learn to do this before we have a houseful of kids. Trying to find my way and survive the day to day while changing it.

How do I do poja with a man who I am never sure is enthusiastic about anything but his own way or idea. Do I just continue on with everything I think we agree on and have a meeting when conflict comes up?


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Would it be demanding to write down the conclusion at the end of a negotiation and get him to initial it? So that there is no question he was saying he was enthusiastic and precisely what he was agreeing to? If we had to come back and renegotiate that would be fine, but it would take some of the dread out of going through a painful negotiation only to be told later that we did it "my" way when in good faith I thought it was OUR way.

Last edited by buildsherhouse; 01/09/15 11:19 PM.

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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
Unintentional dishonesty is where I went wrong. Not schedules, and money like the examples in the articles and book, but feelings and thoughts and opinions. Can,t undo our starting point or learn to do this before we have a houseful of kids. Trying to find my way and survive the day to day while changing it.

How do I do poja with a man who I am never sure is enthusiastic about anything but his own way or idea. Do I just continue on with everything I think we agree on and have a meeting when conflict comes up?
Does he understand POJA?

What about his anger? What is he doing about his anger?


FWW/BW (me)
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Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
I did tell him about MB radio and he listened to at least one hr that he came home and mentioned something about understanding POJA better and it is about both of us winning not just me being happy. And either we are in a state of intimacy enough to eliminate some of the AO and DJ or he is intentionally making progress. And just less conflict than what has become usual. Not sure how to interpret this because there have been cycles of improvement before that ended in an even bigger load of AOs and DJs than normal. He read at least some of Lovebusters months ago. He says he feels different than he ever has before. That has also happened before.

So, to reiterate, no AO for 10 days.

Last edited by buildsherhouse; 01/10/15 12:12 AM.

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I don't know if he understands poja the way Dr. Harley means it. It is a pretty foreign concept that we both have to be happy. The simplest way I know how to describe our premarriage ritual is that it was like an arranged marriage. So we don,t even have the dating period of mutual happiness to mirror or recapture.


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It is hard enough for me to figure out if I understand Poja. smile

I think I answered my own question of the definition of the phrase from the what to do with angry husband list #2 do not put up with his attempts to control.....
Means I don't let the pain of "possible" blockbusters, especially AOs, stop me from insisting we negotiate until *I* am enthusiastic too. I don,t know how I would separate at this point, though I was not bluffing when I told him 10 days ago that I could not live with
It anymore.


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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
It is hard enough for me to figure out if I understand Poja. smile

I think I answered my own question of the definition of the phrase from the what to do with angry husband list #2 do not put up with his attempts to control.....
Means I don't let the pain of "possible" blockbusters, especially AOs, stop me from insisting we negotiate until *I* am enthusiastic too. I don,t know how I would separate at this point, though I was not bluffing when I told him 10 days ago that I could not live with
It anymore.
Okay, so he's had no AOs for 10 days, but will that last? What's the longest you've seen the changes?

What is your plan if he ever has one again?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by buildsherhouse
I don't know if he understands poja the way Dr. Harley means it. It is a pretty foreign concept that we both have to be happy. The simplest way I know how to describe our premarriage ritual is that it was like an arranged marriage. So we don,t even have the dating period of mutual happiness to mirror or recapture.
Will he come here and post?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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